July 13, 2020

L.A. Studio Legends #1: Glenn Dicterow

World-renowned violinist, former concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, discusses his career as studio musician in film recordings in L.A. and his collaborations with John Williams

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto

L.A. Studio Legends is a new series of podcast talks on The Legacy of John Williams dedicated to legendary orchestra musicians from the Los Angeles area who performed in hundreds of film soundtrack recordings, including many by composer John Williams. These artists are not only responsible for playing in some of the most iconic movie scores in the history of cinema: they’re some of the truly finest and talented orchestra players of the 20th and 21st century. The first guest of this new series is certainly a musician who can be defined in a class of himself, who also enjoyed a global recognition throughout his distinguished career: world-renowned violinist Glenn Dicterow.

Glenn Dicterow has established himself as one of the most prominent American concert artist of his generation and lived through a varied and storied career through more than four decades. He has been the concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic for 34 years (from 1980 to 2014) and served as that orchestra leader under esteeemed music directors Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur and Alan Gilbert.

Before landing the position in New York, Dicterow was member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, starting in 1971 as associate concertmaster, and then becoming concertmaster there before turning 25. During those years, he also worked extensively as a studio musician for film and television soundtracks recorded in Los Angeles (along with many other L.A. Phil members, including his father Harold Dicterow), playing in literally hundreds of scores, including many by John Williams. Among the works he did for him, Dicterow played in the violin section for The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws 2 and 1941.

After becoming concertmaster of the NY Phil, Dicterow continued to work as featured soloist for film soundtracks including Altered States by John Corigliano, The Untouchables by Ennio Morricone and Interview with the Vampire by Elliot Goldenthal.

In this wide-ranging conversation, Glenn talks about his long and distinguished career both as concertmaster of one of the world’s leading ensembles and his life as a studio musician, where you can face unexpected challenges. Dicterow offers his own views on how the style of playing in Hollywood orchestras evolved through the years, and how it ties with its European roots. Dicterow talks extensively about his friendship and collaboration with John Williams throughout the years, but also spends time talking about his experiences with the legendary Leonard Bernstein.

For more information and the full list of musical excerpts featured in the episode, visit thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com

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